Budget airline EasyJet, fresh from landing a new seven-year deal with London Gatwick, has now secured a ten-year agreement with Luton Airport that could see passenger numbers at its base more than double.
Luton, home to the carrier’s headquarters, is the fourth- busiest airport in the London region and is awaiting approval for a £150 million redevelopment. The number of EasyJet passengers travelling from the terminal could soar from four to nine million a year if plans for the revamp get the green light.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall said the expansion of the council-owned site could also lead to the creation of 2,500 jobs.
She added: “This is a substantial, long-term deal with London Luton Airport, which will enable us to double our size at London Luton in the next decade and add an even greater range of business and leisure destinations. The speed of EasyJet’s expansion at London Luton is in part reliant on the airport’s plans for much-needed improvements being approved.
“Those improvements will unlock the airport’s potential by improving the customer experience of the airport, while also increasing the numbers of passengers flying to and from London Luton.”
The announcement came a week after the airline said it was on course for a smaller-than- expected loss for the winter after benefiting from improved sales and favourable weather.
It now expects a pre-tax loss of between £55m and £65m for the six months to 31 March, compared with an earlier forecast of £70m to £90m. Analysts at Numis predict a £584.8m profit for the year to September.
Along with its plans for expansion at Luton, the carrier aims to increase capacity at Gatwick by 10 per cent between now and March 2015.